Hyundai Motor joins Shell in hydrogen refueling initiative
Hyundai Motor North America (HMNA) has joined Equilon Enterprises LLC (d/b/a Shell Oil Products US), also referred to as Shell Hydrogen, to encourage the growth of hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the U.S. state of California. The agreement, known as Project Neptune, supports Shell Hydrogen’s construction of 48 additional and two upgraded hydrogen refueling stations across the Golden State beginning in 2021. In its portion of the agreement, Hyundai Motor has committed to fuel cell vehicle sales growth to support the demand for more hydrogen refueling infrastructure.
This agreement with Shell Hydrogen furthers Hyundai’s global relationship with the energy company. In March 2021, Hyundai Motor Company signed a new five-year Global Business Cooperation Agreement with Royal Dutch Shell plc to expand their collaboration on clean energy solutions.
“We’re proud to join Shell Hydrogen’s ‘Project Neptune’, expanding California’s hydrogen infrastructure to meet increasing consumer demand for clean, zero-emission transportation solutions. Hyundai offers a superb fuel cell vehicle in its NEXO SUV, and this effort will help ensure that every eco-focused fuel cell driver has convenient refueling options wherever they choose to go,” said Olabisi Boyle, vice president of Product Planning and Mobility Strategy, Hyundai Motor North America.
The South Korean automaker offers U.S. consumers a technology-rich lineup of cars, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), and electrified vehicles. Hyundai Motor’s 820 dealers sold more than 620,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2020, and nearly half were built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.
Commitment to fuel cell technologies
Hydrogen refueling infrastructure growth is critical to rapidly increase consumer adoption of zero-emission fuel cell vehicles. By joining Project Neptune, Hyundai Motor reinforces its commitment to fuel cell technologies and their positive impact on the environment, a key pillar of its long-range strategic vision. The new hydrogen stations will be partially funded by public funds from the California Energy Commission (CEC). Two other fuel cell vehicle manufacturers have also joined the consortium with respective agreements for fuel cell vehicle sales to support infrastructure growth.
On December 9, 2020, the California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded USD7.3 million to Equilon Enterprises LLC, to deliver the first eight of 51 proposed Shell hydrogen refueling stations. This funding is part of a multi-year program supported by a Notice of Proposed Award of USD40.5 million from the CEC in early 2020. Toyota and Honda have agreed to continue their strong support for fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) sales in California. Future project funding, including the remaining amount within the Notice of Proposed Award, is subject to annual approval from both the California state budget and allocations from the CEC.